July 2013 Newsletter
We hope our American ministers had a safe and fun Independence Day and are getting a chance to enjoy the beautiful summer weather. This is a popular time for weddings and we’ve heard some great stories from our officiants across the country. It’s been wonderful to participate in the many holidays. We wanted to share some of these celebrations with you, and update you on some news.
This week we enter into the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. As ULC Minister Williams explains, this is a time of peace and focusing inward. Islam uses a lunar calendar so the start of Ramadan is marked by the sighting of the crescent moon.
You can read all about how this month is observed and its historical significance here.
While Muslims are taking their cue from the moon, Pagans recently observed Litha, when the sun reached its zenith in the sky.
This day was a celebration of life and warmth represented by the high sun. Singing, feasting, and nudity, oh my! Catch your interest? Then continue reading.
It’s not much of a secret that participation in the Church of England has been dwindling. Now the Anglican powers that be are extending a welcome to the Pagan community.
Is this a nice interfaith gesture, an attempt to survive, a stab at converting people, or something else altogether? Read the blog and decide for yourself.
Of the Biblical Gospels, the Book of John contains people and events that are not mentioned in the other books. One scholar has some notions as to why this is the case, but some of our Christian ministers completely disagree with his ideas.
Take a look at the article and tell us what you think.
The recent rulings by the Supreme Court have struck down Proposition 8 in California, lifting the state ban on marriage equality. The Defense of Marriage Act was also ruled unconstitutional, and the federal government now defers to the sovereignty of the states to each define marriage.
This is just one more change among many in the historical evolution of marriage from clan treaties, to wives as property, to race preservation, and now to love. You can read about the rulings here.
What does this mean for you as a ULC Minister?
- Nothing if you don’t want it to. You will never be forced to officiate any marriage that you do not want to. There is no penalty and your membership is not affected in any way. We believe in freedom of religion for you to practice as you will.
- If you do want to perform a same-sex marriage, it must be in one of the states that allow such weddings, which now includes California.
- For the marriage to be recognized, the couple must reside in a state that either allows such weddings or recognizes same-sex marriages performed in other states.
- You can perform same-sex marriages for couples where one is a U.S. citizen and one is not, provided they have sorted out the immigration issues with a lawyer.
- If you perform a same-sex marriage for a couple that is visiting a marriage-equality state yet does not reside in one, their home state will not recognize them as married upon their return home.
- If you perform a same-sex marriage and the couple moves to a non-equality state, that state will not recognize them as married.
- Same-sex couples married in compliance with these guidelines and the procedures of their state will receive the same federal benefits as opposite-sex couples.